Sad news: Tom Carvel’s first ice-cream stand is closing. It’s in Hartsdale, N.Y., just over the border from by old hometown of Yonkers, N.Y.
According to the Associated Press:
The suburban New York store where Tom Carvel launched his ice cream empire is set to close after more than 70 years. Current owner Abdol Faghihi says he’s extremely sad about shuttering the Hartsdale store, but it’s closing Sunday night to make way for a new restaurant. Original plans called for maintaining a small Carvel shop, but Faghihi says the redevelopment was scaled back.
Tom Carvel’s ice cream truck got a flat tire on Hartsdale’s Central Avenue in 1934. He was forced to pull over and did such brisk business that two years later, he opened an ice cream stand on the spot, about 25 miles north of Manhattan. The brand became famous for ice cream cakes with such themes as Fudgie the Whale. It’s now sold in more than 500 Carvel stores and 8,500 supermarkets nationwide.
I used to go “get Carvel” at the place in Hartsdale and at another Carvel stand in Ardsley off the Saw Mill River Parkway. I talked to Tom Carvel years ago when a magazine where I worked wrote about him. And, of course, there’s always a Yonkers connection and a DiGiovanni connection: The world headquarters of Carvel is in Yonkers and Tom Carvel is buried at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, where my father is interred in the mausoleum and where all of the residents can eat as much Fudgie the Whale Cake as their hearts’ desire and never, ever have to worry about their cholesterol.